The end of the world is in Tasmania
Three Capes Track was opened to the public with the promise of “awakening the senses”. The bushwalkers most eagerly-awaited hiking route is on the edge of the precipice on the remote Australian coast.
Its opening provoked great expectations: almost twelve months before being opened it was deemed one of “the experiences of 2015”. Three Capes Track was finally opened on 23rd December. It had been fully booked for months.
Cape Pillar, Cape Hauy and Cape Raoul are the stars of this landscape formed of steep cliffs. When you look out over the precipice, you come to understand the true meaning behind what they say at Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service: it’s the closest thing to looking at “the end of the world”.
It’s a 46-kilometre hike between Denman’s Cove and the top of Cape Hauy. In total, four days and three nights walking amongst the tallest cliffs in Australia. The journey begins in Port Arthur, a former prison that has been converted into a tourist attraction and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From there, an eco-cruise sails to the start of the route, accompanied by dolphins for part of the trip. Once on firm ground again, it’s time to tie your bootlaces. The route has been designed to be simple, including wooden handrails, steps carved into the rock and gravel paths. This is the main attraction: you don’t have to be a trekking professional to enjoy this adventure. There are barely any steep gradients and although it rains, it doesn’t turn to mud on the passing points. “It’s designed for all seasons” the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service proudly states. People walk between 10 and 17 kilometres every day, except on the first day when the route is completed in under two hours. The sea caves at Denman’s Cove and the eucalyptus forest at the beginning of the walk never fail to impress. These are just a taste of what’s to come. During the next three days, the cliffs and the sea become your companions while you walk along the edge of the abyss. “I knew that the Tasmania coastline was beautiful, but I could never have prepared myself for what unfolded before me”. These are the words of photographer/globetrotter Michael Bonocore after flying over the three capes that give the route its name.
It’s almost like being on a desert island, because you only see four or five people on the track. This is part of the charm of Three Capes Track. Only 48 people can access the track each day, as that is the number of places available in the cabins to spend the night. These buildings, which are equipped with everything you need, await adventurers at the end of each day’s route. Here you’ll find mattresses, cooking utensils and sockets so that you can recharge your electronic devices. Because it’s one thing to be at the end of the world and another thing not to be able to share it with your friends on Facebook.